Kimi Raikkonen

Well, after a series of uninspiring races that was a sparkling return to form for F1 in that most unlikely of places, Abu Dhabi.

After struggling to find a single driver to award the Top Dog prize to last time out in India, we’re spoilt for choice this time.

Most obviously, we have the current world champion Sebastian Vettel, who started in the pit lane, suffered a damaged front wing and needed to come into the pits twice for tyres, but came home to finish in third place. To say that the race came to him would be an understatement, but his passing was (mostly) crisp, as evidenced most clearly by his pass on Jenson Button late on to take third.

Fernando Alonso managed to gain slightly on Sebastian Vettel in their battle for the title by finishing second by putting in another strong performance. It speaks to his pace in a car that doesn’t really deserve to go that fast and his consistency that he’s still so close to the summit of the title race.

It’s no great stretch to say that Lewis Hamilton would have won the race had his McLaren not suffered a crisis of movement after 19 laps. Normally so reliable, McLaren have thrown away good positions a number of times this season. You simply can’t expect to win races, or championships, with that kind of reliability record. Worrying.

However, this race’s Top Dog award simply has to go to Kimi Raikkonen. After his two year sojourn in rallying, his return to F1 this year had all the makings of a modern disaster. The prodigal child returning home, only to find that he no longer had a place at the top table. Thankfully that’s not the way things have worked out and, after a performance during which he was fast when he needed to be and composed throughout, he’s well and truly back. He also managed to a) back chat to his engineer and b) swear on the podium. Just another day in the life of a lot of people’s favourite Finn.

Well done Kimi, you’re Abu Dhabi’s Top Dog. Have a drink for us, there’s a good lad.